Apple to get back into bed with Samsung for 14nm A9 processor production

Apple and Samsung have a complicated relationship. But that isn't stopping Apple from using Samsung for additional chip manufacturing purposes in 2015, it's claimed.

According to Taiwanese media reports, as well as Reuters, which cited a client note from a KGI Securities analyst, both Apple and Qualcomm want to abandon Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing in favour of Samsung as soon as next year. Samsung currently builds custom processors for Apple at a plant in Austin, Texas.

Apple and Qualcomm now want to buy their 14 nanometer smartphone chips from Samsung, rather than TSMC. Samsung has long manufactured components for Apple, despite rumours that Apple wants to end its reliance on the company. The switch to Samsung is expected to begin in the second half of 2015.

DigiTimes, a website with a not-so decent track record, first reported earlier this month that Samsung had received new trial orders from Apple for the production of 14 nanometer chips known as A9 processors. If Apple were to stick to its usual chip update pattern, the A9 processor could debut in iPhone/iPad around late 2015.

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It's not entirely clear why Apple or even Qualcomm would want to ditch the world's largest contract chip manufacturer for Samsung, though these speculative reports have already impacted TSMC's shares on Thursday. Shares fell as much as 5.75 per cent in trade compared with a 1 percent decline in the benchmark index.

That's not good news, especially for a company that recently reported its highest quarterly profit in 8 years.